The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly made their first post-lockout signing. The team agreed to a deal with former Mets reliever Jeurys Familia.
Free-agent reliever Jeurys Familia in agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies, pending physical, according to sources familiar with the situation.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 13, 2022
The deal is reportedly a one-year contract for $6M that can be worth up to $7M.
Familia is getting $6 million for one year from the Phillies. Deal can be worth as much $7 million.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 13, 2022
The 32-year-old Familia owns a career 3.28 ERA and 125 saves across nine full seasons with the Mets with another split with the A’s in 2018. In 2021, he posted a 3.95 ERA in 65 innings across 65 appearances. The right hander allowed 10 home runs in just 59.1 IP and had a walks per nine of 4.10 but posted a career-best 10.92 K/9.
Familia has high strikeout numbers but struggles with command, as he has the sixth highest walk percentage among all MLB relievers with at least 450 IP since entering the league in 2012. He posted 94 saves as the Mets closer from 2015 to 2016 but lost the job in recent years as his struggles have increased. Since 2019, Familia has a 4.69 ERA across 156 appearances and the third worst walk percentage (13.4%) of all relievers with at least 150 appearances over that span.
Off the field
Familia was arrested in October of 2016 after an alleged domestic violence incident and was charged with simple assault. The case was dropped in December of that year due to lack of evidence after Familia’s wife declined to testify. Major League Baseball handed Familia a 15-game suspension to start the 2017 season for violating their Domestic Violence Policy.
It’s not clear exactly how much Familia moves the needle, if at all. The Phillies desperately need dependable relievers and Familia hasn’t been one in a long time. He still averages a hair under 97 MPH on his sinker, but the walks are a major concern. The Phillies already employ a high strikeout/high walk reliever in Jose Alvarado. The addition of Familia now gives them one from both sides of the mound. It’s unclear exactly what role they envision Familia in, especially after the team signed Corey Knebel to a one-year deal before the lockout. He will most likely be used as middle/late relief due to his closing experience. The price feels a bit steep for a reliever of Familia’s caliber, especially for a team trying to avoid the luxury tax. However, a one-year deal does minimize the risk.